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      Central mechanisms of motor skill learning.

      Current Opinion in Neurobiology

      Animals, Basal Ganglia, physiology, Cerebellum, Cerebral Cortex, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Learning, Motor Skills, Neural Networks (Computer), Parietal Lobe

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          Abstract

          Recent studies have shown that frontoparietal cortices and interconnecting regions in the basal ganglia and the cerebellum are related to motor skill learning. We propose that motor skill learning occurs independently and in different coordinates in two sets of loop circuits: cortex-basal ganglia and cortex-cerebellum. This architecture accounts for the seemingly diverse features of motor learning.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Learning-induced LTP in neocortex.

          The hypothesis that learning occurs through long-term potentiation (LTP)- and long-term depression (LTD)-like mechanisms is widely held but unproven. This hypothesis makes three assumptions: Synapses are modifiable, they modify with learning, and they strengthen through an LTP-like mechanism. We previously established the ability for synaptic modification and a synaptic strengthening with motor skill learning in horizontal connections of the rat motor cortex (MI). Here we investigated whether learning strengthened these connections through LTP. We demonstrated that synapses in the trained MI were near the ceiling of their modification range, compared with the untrained MI, but the range of synaptic modification was not affected by learning. In the trained MI, LTP was markedly reduced and LTD was enhanced. These results are consistent with the use of LTP to strengthen synapses during learning.
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            Complementary roles of basal ganglia and cerebellum in learning and motor control.

             K Doya (2000)
            The classical notion that the basal ganglia and the cerebellum are dedicated to motor control has been challenged by the accumulation of evidence revealing their involvement in non-motor, cognitive functions. From a computational viewpoint, it has been suggested that the cerebellum, the basal ganglia, and the cerebral cortex are specialized for different types of learning: namely, supervised learning, reinforcement learning and unsupervised learning, respectively. This idea of learning-oriented specialization is helpful in understanding the complementary roles of the basal ganglia and the cerebellum in motor control and cognitive functions.
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              Human cerebellar activity reflecting an acquired internal model of a new tool.

               M. Kawato,  T Tamada,  B Pütz (2000)
              Theories of motor control postulate that the brain uses internal models of the body to control movements accurately. Internal models are neural representations of how, for instance, the arm would respond to a neural command, given its current position and velocity. Previous studies have shown that the cerebellar cortex can acquire internal models through motor learning. Because the human cerebellum is involved in higher cognitive function as well as in motor control, we propose a coherent computational theory in which the phylogenetically newer part of the cerebellum similarly acquires internal models of objects in the external world. While human subjects learned to use a new tool (a computer mouse with a novel rotational transformation), cerebellar activity was measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. As predicted by our theory, two types of activity were observed. One was spread over wide areas of the cerebellum and was precisely proportional to the error signal that guides the acquisition of internal models during learning. The other was confined to the area near the posterior superior fissure and remained even after learning, when the error levels had been equalized, thus probably reflecting an acquired internal model of the new tool.
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                Journal
                12015240

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